Monday, May 31, 2021

From Ian:

As Hamas Fired Rockets, the New York Times Joined the Assault on Israel
By publishing one anti-Israel essay after another after another, New York Times editors were taking advantage of a persuasion technique. The “mere-exposure effect” describes how people develop preferences for ideas that they’re more exposed to. By repeating anti-Israel messages, the newspaper also manufactures “social proof” — the persuasive phenomenon in which people tend to drift toward positions or behaviors that they believe many others are also engaged in. Psychologist Daniel Kahneman wrote that “a reliable way to make people believe in falsehoods is frequent repetition.” And as a trio of German researchers recently noted, although “information repetitions constitute redundancy and, hence, should not affect the recipient’s decision,” in practice repeating information helps persuade people to change their minds in favor of what’s being repeated.

Beyond trying to steer people toward the Palestinian narrative, though, Times opinion editors are guilty of curating a lack of empathy for Israeli Jews. Even as Israeli families were traumatized by emergency runs to bomb shelters as Hamas strove to kill them, their experiences and emotions were largely missing from the paper’s opinion pages.

In the 12 Guest Essays about the conflict published since the start of the rocket attacks, readers got to know to Refaat Alareer’s wife, Nusayba, and their children, including six-year-old Amal and eight-year-old Lina. They were intimately introduced to Laila al-Arian’s grandfather, Abdul Kareem, and her grandmother, Inaam. They were told of Diana Buttu’s 82-year-old father and her seven-year-old son.

Israelis, on the other hand, had no ages and no faces. No brothers or sisters. No Holocaust-surviving grandparents. They were doctors for a moment. Nameless victims for a paragraph or two. But mostly oppressors, attackers, shooters, racists — and generally heartless. While a Palestinian told readers not to pay attention to Hamas, an Israeli told them (wrongly) that Israelis are adept at coping with rocket fire.

That the newspaper encourages lack of empathy for Israeli Jews is bad enough. Their safety, their children, matter. But the empathy deficit doesn’t stop at Israel’s border. A majority of Jews across the world care about Israel. They are more inclined, then, to care about the Hamas rockets, which readers of the country’s most influential paper learn are “legitimate”; or to support Israel’s efforts to stop that rocket fire, which readers are told isn’t really an effort to stop the attacks, but rather to arbitrarily oppress Palestinians. Their opposition to terrorism by Hamas and other antisemitic groups in Gaza is also being demonized on the pages of the New York Times.

So vocal supporters of Israel are bullied online. And worse. As the New York Times news section noted this week, the recent surge in antisemitic violence in the United States has mostly been at the hands of “perpetrators expressing support for the Palestinian cause.” Opinion editors might consider what their role is in cultivating an atmosphere in which attacks on innocent Israeli Jews, and on innocent American Jews, are viewed as justified.

NYT Publishes Infamous Palestinian Propaganda Maps, Defends Image as ‘Art’
The maps are duplicitous in numerous ways, amongst them is the mixing of reality with imagination. Whereas the land really was divided along the lines seen in three out of four of the maps, the terms used serve to create a false impression that a sovereign entity called ‘Palestine’ is being gradually eroded over time. But a closer look reveals that’s not the case at all.

In reality, the set of maps, regularly shared by proponents of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, is a fraud. The land depicted as “Palestinian” was actually first under the British Mandate, then under Jordanian and Egyptian control. Only much later did some of the land ever come under semi-autonomous Palestinian control.

Moreover, the lines drawn dividing the territory never actually existed. In reality, they were only a theoretical outline for fairly dividing the land between Arabs and Jews. The Jews accepted the plan, despite its numerous drawbacks, but the Arabs did not – and ended up with even less land after waging war on their Jewish neighbors.

Back in 2015, MSNBC apologized for using these same deceptive maps following a social media backlash. And in February 2020, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was roundly criticized after appearing before the United Nations Security Council holding up a series of maps that he labeled “The Palestinian Historic Compromise.”

Nevertheless, years after this series of maps has been disproven as misleading propaganda, the New York Times commissioned its own design, thus spreading the lie to a mainstream audience of millions around the world.
David Singer: The NYTimes and Washington Post bash Israel again - but their claims are false
The New York Times should be ashamed of itself for publishing their similarly false and misleading maps.

Brownie points earned by the Washington Post in exposing the New York Times anti-Israel bias were forfeited when Kessler continued “to summarize the two versions of whether there was a historic Palestine for readers who want to hear both sides of the story.”

The Pro-Palestinian version is a complete lie - and according to Kessler maintains:
“In the 18th century, the area saw the emergence of a new Palestine-based autonomous rule, spurred in part by the region’s commercial dynamism, especially its trade in cotton and grain. In effect, between the 1720s and 1775 under the ruler Zahir al-Umar, there was an independent Palestinian state — longer than the British mandate.

Why publish such fabricated nonsense?

Palestine had then been part of the Ottoman Empire for 250 years and remained so until the Allied and Central Powers made their decisions on its future at the 1920 San Remo Conference. Palestine referred to the area and not to any people.

Ending the flow of false information published by “respectable publications” remains a continuing challenge for Israel to combat and finally defeat.
Nowadays, when Palestinian media talks about the Temple Mount, they mention the "alleged" Temple that Jews "claim" to have existed there.

But their founding father, the Nazi-supporting Grand Mufti, Haj Amin Husseini, even admitted that the Jewish Temple was there.

In his testimony before the British commission of inquiry on the 1929 pogroms, the Mufti reiterated his claim that the Jews were planning to rebuild the Temple on top of Al Aqsa. From the New York Times, December 4, 1929:


That answer is revealing. Unlike later Palestinian leaders who denied that the Temple was ever in Jerusalem, the Mufti based his entire libel that Jews planned to destroy Al Aqsa on the fact that the Temple was there and the Jews would want to rebuild it!

Temple denial only started in Jordan after 1948 when guidebooks to the Temple Mount were re0written to take out any references to a Jewish presence in Jerusalem. But the modern version of Temple denial started with Yasir Arafat, who famously insisted to the American negotiators at Camp David that the Jewish Temple was in Nablus. Since then, other Arab officials and media picked up on this revisionist history to the point that it is now accepted much of the Arab world.

But even the Jew-hating Mufti knew the truth. 

In that same testimony, the Mufti also fully accepted the truth of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and attempted to have it included as evidence. The British decided that they would allow it - as evidence of Arab Jew-hatred.

“Lynch” is a word that most people don’t really comprehend. Although many are familiar with the word “Fauda” from the hit tv series, the term is not understood.

Fauda means chaos - but it is not just any chaos. It is the chaos of the gates of hell opening up, turning individuals into a blood-thirsty, raging, mob that swarms you, intent on ripping you to pieces. Literally. 

To escape with your life, you need a miracle.

That is what happened to Elad Barzilai.

May 12th, 2021. Arabs in Akko were rioting – as were Arabs in Jerusalem, Lod, Haifa and across the Galilee (where there are many Arab villages surrounding the Jewish communities). Israeli Arabs, citizens of Israel were raging against anyone or anything Jewish – individuals, Jewish property, and symbols of the Jewish State. 

Elad, 37 years old, a teacher and father of four, went outside to look for his students. He wanted to make sure that his (Jewish) students were not caught up in the violence. He didn’t want them to get hurt and he didn’t want them to try to fight the rioters. He never imagined he wouldn’t come home afterwards. Neither did his wife, Yael.

Elad was attacked and beaten with metal rods and rocks. His skull was smashed in.   

By a miracle and by the hands of good doctors, Elad survived. I cannot comprehend how it was possible to piece together the remains of his skull.

The media (as well as other similar lynches) minimized this horrific event. It is nicer to promote stories of “Jewish-Arab co-existence.” People like that narrative. It is easier to tell a “both sides” story of symmetrical violence or simply blame Jews. The truth is unpleasant, painful and in fact, terrifying.

I lack the words to properly convey the full extent of the horror of being Jewish and unsafe in our homeland. Of having neighbors who can live, shop, work etc. with you for years and then, one day, decide to rise up and slaughter Jews for being Jewish and daring to claim the right to live in our ancestral homeland.

There is no symmetry and there is no justification for bashing in the head of an unassuming teacher – even if he is a Jew.  

After hearing what happened to Elad, it was impossible to just go on about our daily lives. But what could we do? I’m not a politician or a military official. I don’t make decisions for the country. I can’t protect my people and I can’t heal Elad. But I can’t not do anything.

So, Lenny and I went to the hospital. We don’t know the Barzilai family. But we do know them. They are our family. Our tribe. We didn’t call or ask anyone, we just went. Because that’s what you do when your family is suffering. You stand with them.

We found Yael, Elad’s wife standing outside the ICU, waiting for the doctors to let her in. Elad was in a medically induced coma follow the operation on his head.

“Who are you?” Yael asked.

“Am Yisrael”

Her eyes lit up.

She said that “Am Yisrael,” the people of Israel who care because we are all part of the same tribe, is the only thing that gives her hope in these terrible times.

Elad opened his eyes on Wednesday. On Saturday, a week after our first visit, we found Yael with Elad, in a regular hospital room. He is conscious and able to make very slow, pained gestures. The places where his skull was patched together scream of the horror he endured.

When Yael saw us, her tired face flushed with new life. She turned to Elad and told him: “Look at this couple. I don’t know them. I don’t think you know them, but they came to see how we are.”

Elad’s eyes followed us, and it was obvious he could understand the conversation. He couldn’t speak (he can’t swallow properly so he has a suction tube to make sure he doesn’t choke). Yael told us that he is mouthing words and it was the first day she could understand what he was trying to say.

Elad slowly raised his hand and lifted up one finger after the other. Four. Yael asked him, “You want to tell them about our kids?” A tiny movement of his head, closing and opening his eyes. “Yes.”

She told us of bringing their kids to see their father. I can’t imagine how they must have felt. When I spoke with Elad I smiled and told encouraging stories while swallowing tears of rage. It will take a very long time for him to heal, and his head will forever carry the evidence of Jew hate. Any time his wife or children look at him, every time he looks in the mirror, they will be reminded of that night of horrors. Of the neighbors who want us dead.

This sweet and gentle man experienced the enormity of hate felt for our entire people. The desire to smash us to smithereens. Elad, like the Nation of Israel, is going to do the one thing that most enrages our enemies.

He will live.

With the help of good doctors, Yael, family, friends, Am Yisrael and the few friends we have in the world, Elad will live WELL – and so will the Nation of Israel. We can be smashed, battered, tortured, and burned but we do not give up and we do not give in.

Am Yisrael Chai are perhaps the three most powerful words in the history of mankind.
We are a Nation. We are Israel. We LIVE.

So will Elad son of Julia.

If you pray, pray for his recovery. For his brain to be undamaged. For Yael to find the strength she needs. For their children to get their parents back. Tell Elad’s story, his is the Jewish story. The lynch mob did not attack Elad, they attacked The Jew. By a miracle he survived. Through faith, hope, love and dedication of his family, his tribe, he will live.

Am Yisrael Chai.

From Ian:

Israel did everything it could for peace and was rejected - opinion
That brings us to the distortions. First, when in the history of the world was the side that was attacked with more than 4,000 rockets pressured to stop its own military operation, acknowledged as accurately hitting Hamas targets and not so many civilians by no less than the head of the UN Relief and Works Agency, the obsolete and hate-mongering UN Palestinian refugee organization, after just 11 days? How long did the US carry out military operations in Iraq, killing hundreds of thousands, with little pressure from the world to stop, and little or no evidence that anyone there actually attacked the US? Israel appears to be in a whole new category of nations with its own very special set of rules. But we knew that.

And most importantly: What are the Palestinians supposed to contribute to this? After all, they’re getting either a state or a piece of an Arab-majority confederation or unlimited aid. Where, in all these formulas, is the place where the Palestinians actually have to do something? If you have concluded that I am a charter member of the Oslo-disappointed crowd, you’re right. Oslo was not a complete failure – it saved the lives of many Israeli soldiers and civilians – but it didn’t produce peace.

I still believe that, for the sake of Israel as well as the Palestinians, a two-state solution is best. But I have despaired of ever seeing it negotiated. I have written here that one day it might be imposed. Otherwise, we will continue with the current situation, including a flare-up every few years, and that will be our reality. There is no magic formula of Israeli moves to change that.

It’s a bad neighborhood. As an Israeli, I call it part of the price we must pay for the privilege of living in the Holy Land.
PMW: The PA met 80 times with the ICC – mocking and violating conditions for US funding
Whereas the United States has made statements promising renewed financial support to the Palestinian Authority, the PA is ineligible for US funding. According to US law to be eligible for funding from the Economic Support Fund (ESF), the PA must not “initiate” or “actively support” any International Criminal Court investigation “that subjects Israeli nationals to an investigation for alleged crimes against Palestinians.”

Palestinian Media Watch can now report that this week, the Head of the PA Attorney’s Office for International Legal Cooperation Jamil Sajadiyeh admitted that the PA, ignoring the above US condition, is very actively supporting investigations against Israelis at the ICC:
“Around 80 meetings have been held between Palestine and the ICC, of course with the office of [ICC] General Prosecutor [Fatou Bensouda]. There are nearly 60 cases and letters that have been submitted, all of them telling about the Israeli violations. Monthly reports are being submitted to the ICC via the general prosecutor through the [PA] Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”

[Official PA TV, Palestine This Morning, May 25, 2021]

Sajadiyeh also revealed that the PA is doing this under the instructions of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas himself:
“Palestine has submitted all it can [to the ICC] in order to carry out these investigations. We are [working] according to the instructions of His Honor [PA] President [Mahmoud Abbas] and all the relevant parties.”

[Official PA TV, Palestine This Morning, May 25, 2021]

PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh also openly confirmed this week in an English language interview that the PA has been in contact with the ICC and “submitted files”:
Shtayyeh: “The ICC is a peaceful international court for criminals… and we decided to join… The issue of ICC is something that’s now totally out of our hands, it’s just in the hands of the ICC. Of course, we did join it and we did submit files. The Israelis should know and they should take us serious.”

[Facebook page of PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh, May 29, 2021]

United States law is very clear. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 passed in January 2014 under the Obama administration prohibited Economic Support Fund (ESF) aid if the PA “initiate an International Criminal Court judicially authorized investigation, or actively support such an investigation, that subjects Israeli nationals to an investigation for alleged crimes against Palestinians.” The same provision has been adopted every year since, most recently as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, passed in December 2020.

JINSA PodCast: Israel-Gaza War: Assessing the Legality of the Recent Conflict
The international community continues to erroneously accuse Israel of war crimes in the recent conflict with Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza, evincing a serious misunderstanding of international law in both the media and policy realm. Despite Israel’s demonstrated and historical compliance with the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC)—and Hamas’ repeated and flagrant violations—the accusations persist. Professor Geoffrey Corn, formerly the U.S. Army’s Senior Law of War expert and current Distinguished Fellow at JINSA, and IDF Colonel (ret.) Eli Bar-On, former Deputy Military Advocate General of the IDF, discuss the legal parameters of the latest conflict between Hamas and the Israel Defense Forces, offering insight into the purpose of LOAC and the importance of respecting it, rather than misconstruing it.

  • Monday, May 31, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon

By Dr. Andrew Pessin


I weep for the academy.


I weep for the Jews.


As the Islamic Resistance Movement (better known by its acronym, Hamas) rained thousands of deadly rockets upon Israeli men, women, and children, the academy loudly and voluminously proclaimed its endorsement of this effort to murder as many Jews as possible.


Petitions, declarations, statements abounded, from major universities and academic disciplines and student governments in the United States, Canada, Europe—essentially the only remaining places on Earth from which Jews have not yet been nearly entirely ethnically cleansed—signed collectively by thousands of professors and students and alumni, expressing “solidarity” with the Palestinians: Harvard, Princeton, Brown, Stanford, Georgetown, Vanderbilt, CUNY, to name a few. 

It is of course wonderful to express solidarity with suffering peoples. Except when, as is the case here, that expression can only be understood as endorsement of the murder of as many other people as possible.


Start with who was firing the rockets.


The Hamas charter makes its goals crystal clear. The Islamic Resistance Movement “strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine,” “In the absence of Islam, strife will be rife … and wars will break out,” “Israel … will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it,” “Jihad is its path and death for the sake of Allah is the loftiest of its wishes,” and “Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement.” No “peace” or “two-state solution” from these folks: they openly seek the destruction of the lone Jewish state in the world, home to half the world’s Jews, and will pursue “strife, wars, and jihad” until they obtain it.


And lest you think that goal only indirectly calls for the deaths of the millions of Jews who live there, the charter disabuses you of that notion as well with a quote from the Islamic scriptural tradition: “The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems… there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him'.” This text doesn’t limit the Jew-murder to “Zionists,” as it long precedes the modern State of Israel; nor does it limit the murdering to the Land of Israel.


It endorses Jew-murder wherever there may be Jews.


Nor is Hamas's desire to murder Jews something vague and abstract.


On May 7, just prior to Hamas’s launching the rocket war, Hamas Political Bureau member and former Interior Minister Fathi Hammad gave some concrete and practical suggestions, in rhetoric similar to that used constantly, over decades, by Hamas leaders. On Hamas’s state-run TV station he called on the “People of Jerusalem, we want you to cut off the heads of the Jews with knives. With your hand, cut their artery from here. A knife costs five shekels. Buy a knife, sharpen it, put it there, and just cut off [their heads]. It costs just five shekels.”


And if the desire to murder as many Jews as possible weren’t enough, Hamas is also misogynist, anti-LGBTQ+, anti-democracy, and anti-Christian. Not exactly a shining example of the liberal progressive ideal that so dominates the Western academy. 

You would think that such undisputed facts might warrant a word or two of critique from Western academics when such a movement sets out to mass-murder Jews exactly as it constantly says it is going to do.


Instead the veritable orgy of condemnation was all the opposite direction.


That orgy offered not a single word against the attempted mass murder of Jews but plenty of words against the Jews who sought to defend themselves from the attempt to mass-murder them. The liberal progressive academy responded with a litany of grievances against liberal progressive democratic Israel, in order to justify the anti-liberal-progressive movement’s attempt to mass murder.


The profound intellectual failure here matches the profound moral failure, and reveals the simmering Jew-hatred that lies beneath.


Let’s just pick out a few points, to illustrate. I’ll focus on the Brown University statement, but similar remarks apply to all of them.


As the rockets rained down on Jewish heads, Brown faculty, students, and alumni said, “We condemn Israel's incessant efforts to dispossess and displace 28 Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in Jerusalem, in order to replace them with Israeli settlers. The recent attempted expulsions are part of Israel's long-standing project of ethnic cleansing and dispossession.”


One could hardly pack more lies and misrepresentations into a short paragraph. For the facts see here, but in brief, a private dispute between landlords and non-rent-paying tenants here becomes a national government effort to dispossess and replace. For the record, the Muslim population of Jerusalem has increased 600% in the nearly six decades since Israel reunified the city. In that same time the Arab population of the West Bank has increased some 350%. Whatever is happening there, “ethnic cleansing” it is not.


“We condemn the continued bombardment and murder of at least 145 [as of May 17] Palestinian men, women, and children in Gaza, the displacement of some 10,000 Palestinians in Gaza as a result of Israel’s offense, and the systematic and deliberate destruction of Gaza’s infrastructures, already debilitated by a decades long blockade.”


No mention here of the reason for the bombardment: Israeli efforts to stop the rockets being fired at them. No distinction between civilians and militants, nor of the documented fact that Israel goes to great lengths and expense to target only militants and minimize civilian casualties. No mention of the hundreds of Hamas rockets that fell short, in Gaza, that certainly produced some or many of those casualties. No evidence for the blood-libelous claim of “systematic and deliberate destruction of infrastructure,” nor of the facts that (1) Hamas rockets damaged the plants that produce electricity for Gaza and (2) Hamas deliberately targeted the Gaza-Israel crossings as humanitarian aid was being transferred into Gaza. Nor mention of the fact that the Israeli blockade restricts only military materials, and that despite the “debilitating blockade,” Gaza is home to fancy hotels, luxury homes and cars, and five-star restaurants, and Hamas had no trouble producing an enormous arsenal of missiles and an enormous network of military tunnels despite the blockade.


“We condemn the Israeli police’s ruthless attacks on Muslim worshippers in al-Aqsa Mosque compound with rubber bullets, stun grenades, and tear gas canisters during the holy month of Ramadan.”


No mention of the fact that during Ramadan literally hundreds of thousands of Muslims worshipped peacefully at Al-Aqsa, that only in Israel is there anything resembling religious freedom in the Middle East, that the true religious discrimination in Israel is found only in the extensive restrictions forbidding Jews from visiting or worshipping on their holiest site, the Temple Mount. Nor mention of the fact that the police “raid” was only in response to violent riots being perpetrated by the Muslim worshippers, or of the fact that the Mosque was used to store stones and firebombs.


“We condemn Israel’s medical apartheid regime. Israel has withheld much-needed COVID-19 vaccines from Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza during a deadly pandemic, while administering an internationally lauded and extremely effective vaccination program for the Israeli settlers who reside in illegal settlements throughout the West Bank.”


A rival to the earlier paragraph in its lies and misrepresentations, and another blood-libel if ever there was one. For details see here, but in brief: Israel was under no obligation to vaccinate non-citizens (yet nevertheless vaccinated hundreds of thousands of them); the Palestinians never asked for Israeli vaccines or Israeli assistance, and instead, precisely per the Oslo agreements and in accordance with their large degree of autonomy, set out to take care of their own citizens. Israel provided no restrictions on that process and facilitated wherever asked. The only limits were based on the Palestinian ability to pay for vaccines, but no mention is made here of the Palestinian Authority’s “pay-to-slay” policy that incentivizes Palestinians to murder Jews, and whose budget would go far (if not all the way) for enough vaccines for the entire Palestinian population. Nor is mention made here of the fact that Hamas allegedly couldn’t afford vaccines but could somehow afford to produce its enormous arsenal and tunnel network.


You get the idea.


As of this writing, nearly 1000 Brown faculty, students, and alumni had openly affixed their names to this statement.


There is no effort to be “fair,” or “balanced,” or to offer competing perspectives, to even entertain the thought that a conflict that is some hundred-twenty years old, that I prefer to label “the Israeli-Palestinian-Jewish-Arab-Muslim Conflict” (or IPJAMC) precisely because it involves all those elements (and many more), might just be a little on the complicated side. You would think that academics might be sensitive to complexity, able to handle it, would eschew over-simplification, that where the truth is complicated the positions one takes must be nuanced.


Nothing like that to be found here.


In fact just the opposite: they openly, enthusiastically embrace the one-sidedness.


Don’t just take my word for it. Here is a statement from “Gender Studies Departments In Solidarity With Palestinian Feminist Collective,” whose language mirrors that of many of the other academic statements, signed (as of this writing) not by individuals but by some 150 entire departments, programs, or centers:


We do not subscribe to a “both sides” rhetoric that erases the military, economic, media, and global power that Israel has over Palestine. This is not a “conflict” that is too “controversial and complex” to assess. Israel is using violent force, punitive bureaucracy, and the legal system to expel Palestinians from their rightful homes and to remove Palestinian people from their land.


Never mind the grave assault on reason here when signatories in “Women’s Studies” and “Gender Studies” departments side with the misogynist, anti-LGBTQ Islamist regime over the democratic state where women can wear what they want and date who they want, serve as Prime Minister, and participate in the only Gay Pride parade in the Middle East.


Never mind the grave assault on academic freedom committed here when entire departments pledge themselves to a political position, particularly one where there is indeed “controversy” (their protestations to the contrary notwithstanding). One can only pity the untenured professor, or the potential student, or even staff member who might not share the position the entire department has declared to be the solemn truth. 


It’s worse.


As Hamas openly pursues its openly declared effort to murder as many Jews as possible, these scholars declare that there is nothing “controversial” here, that there is no “conflict” here, and there are not “two sides” to the issue.


That is, no two sides on whether it’s acceptable to attempt to murder as many Jews as possible.


With that attitude it is no surprise that the website features the Palestinian flag with a logo of a punching fist with blood dripping from it. (One wonders whether any of their universities have policies against the endorsement of and incitement to violence.)


Just to linger on this a moment. Did we mention that the Muslim population of Jerusalem has increased by 600% since Israel reunified the city? Or that the Arab citizens of Israel have more freedoms, and overall greater prosperity, than Arabs in any other Arab country? And this despite the fact that many Palestinians (including Arab citizens of Israel), incentivized by their leaders both in the Palestinian Authority or Hamas, have undertaken a campaign in recent years that has produced literally hundreds of knife attacks and car-rammings, targeting Jews? Not to mention the 40,000 rockets that Hamas has fired since it illegally took over Gaza in 2007 by murdering its Palestinian Authority opponents?


Isn’t it possible that there just might be more to this story—some other side?


Across universities there are many departments or programs focused on identity studies: Women’s Studies, Race and Gender Studies, LGBTQ+ studies, Black Studies, Palestinian Studies as well, etc. Consistently these programs also openly advocate for the groups they study (a separate problem for the academy, for another day). There are also numerous Jewish Studies and Israel Studies departments. Oddly these programs not only rarely openly advocate for Jews or Israel, but are populated by individuals who openly advocate against their subjects.


So it’s also no surprise that some 200 “scholars of Jewish Studies and of Israel studies” jumped on the bandwagon of condemnation of Israel, once Hamas began its most recent campaign of mass Jewish murder.


They declare: “We condemn the state violence that the Israeli government and its security forces have been carrying out in Gaza.” So, Jews with rockets raining upon them are condemned for trying to stop the rocket fire.


“[We condemn] their evictions of Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah and other neighborhoods of East Jerusalem.” So, Israel is not allowed to apply its ethnicity-neutral laws in the territory it controls in order to protect landlords from tenants who refuse to pay rent. Or more accurately: Israel must develop ethnic-based laws that prevent only Jewish landlords from having any rights where the tenants are Arabs. Or more accurately still: Arabs must not be required to pay rent to Jews.


“[We condemn] their suppression of civilian protests in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Jewish-Arab cities, and Palestinian towns and villages in Israel.” So, Arabs must be allowed to riot without restriction and with impunity. Never mind the dozens of synagogues vandalized, the murders and attempted murders, the smashing and burning of cars, etc.


In short: Israel is not permitted to defend itself from mass murder attempts, to enforce its ethnicity-neutral laws, or to maintain public order.  Jews, in other words, are not merely not permitted any form of sovereignty here, but are not permitted even to live here.


“We share and hold the pain of Gazans, who have lost and are losing family members, homes, property, businesses, cultural institutions, medical facilities, and civilian infrastructure to Israeli bombings.” There was apparently no space in this long declaration to share and hold the pain of Israelis, who even after having to spend billions of dollars for the Iron Dome and bomb shelters and rocket alert systems as well as extensive systems to minimize civilian casualties on the other side, themselves are murdered and injured and their property destroyed by thousands of rockets, and are individually targeted by knife attacks, car rammings, and lynchings.


But there is space enough for them to mention that Zionism—the Jewish movement for self-determination in the ancestral Jewish homeland, that also saved millions of Jewish lives by succeeding—amounts, in their view, “to unjust, enduring, and unsustainable systems of Jewish supremacy, ethnonational segregation, discrimination, and violence against Palestinians.”


But not space enough to mention that Israel is one of the most “ethno-nationally” diverse populations on this planet, that it pursues (if not always successfully) equality under the law, that it has been subject to relentless “state violence” from neighboring states and terrorist groups and individual violence from individual Palestinians against individual Jews.


And “Jewish supremacy”?


Goebbels would be proud.


This from “scholars of Jewish and Israel Studies,” as the rockets rain down on Jewish heads. (Potential donors to Jewish and Israel Studies Departments: please take note.)


Oddly they were so busy supporting Hamas in this conflict that they completely forgot to condemn Hamas, which openly calls to murder all Jews in the name of establishing Islam “over every inch of Palestine,” for its Islamist supremacy.




Perhaps one can take some comfort from the fact that, buried in their voluminous screed, is this single line: “We affirm the pain, fear, and anger of Israeli Jews and Palestinian citizens of Israel who have lost loved ones and homes to unjustifiable and indiscriminate Hamas rockets.” One can hear them telling themselves, “Look, we are being ‘balanced’ because we mention Hamas’s ‘unjustifiable and indiscriminate’ rockets.”


Of course they don’t actually condemn the rockets the way they condemn everything about Israel, they just “affirm” the pain, fear, and anger, whatever that means. And whatever comfort one might have taken from that nearly invisible acknowledgment that the rockets are “unjustifiable and indiscriminate” must surely be countered by the fact that the long bulk of the declaration in fact serves to justify those very rockets. One would perhaps take about the same comfort as would a woman who has tragically just been raped being told, “That action was unjustifiable, of course, but, you know, look how you dress.”


And indeed one should be equally offended.


The dominant ideal in Western universities is that of progressivism, including care and concern for the marginalized and the oppressed. These institutions also pride themselves as being in the business of the pursuit of truth. And yet when the ethnically diverse democratic nation that aspires to those same ideals—that does more to protect and elevate women, LGBTQ+, and religious minorities than any other country in the region, and whose Arab minority serves in all professions, government, and the Supreme Court—is attacked by a religious extremist group that took control of Gaza via an illegal murderous coup and has since ruled it with an iron fist, suppresses all dissent, oppresses women and Christians, persecutes and executes gays, and also openly declares and openly pursues the goal of murdering as many Jews as possible, what happens?


These institutions abandon any interest in truth, any interest in their own professed ideals, and see only the “one side,” the anti-progressive side, the one that wants to murder Jews.


This isn’t about any particular Israeli policy or behavior.


This is about removing Jews from the Land of Israel entirely—and everywhere else.


It may indeed be time for Jews to remove themselves from these institutions, where they clearly aren’t welcome.


I weep for the academy.


And I weep for the Jews.



 Dr. Andrew Pessin is a professor at Connecticut College. He has written a number of books including The Jewish God Question: What Jewish Thinkers Have Said About God, The Book, The People, and the Land, The 60-Second Philosopher and Anti-Zionism on Campus: The University, Free Speech, and BDS.

Follow him on twitter @AndrewPessin

For more information about him and his work, visit

  • Monday, May 31, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
Last week, Gaza UNRWA director Matthias Schmale told Israel's Channel 12 news,  “I’m not a military expert, but I would not dispute that. I also have the impression that there is a huge sophistication in the way the Israeli military struck over the last 11 days, so that’s not my issue. I’ve had many colleagues describe to me that they feel that, in comparison with the 2014 war, this time the strikes felt much more vicious in terms of their impact. So yes, they didn’t hit – with some exceptions – civilian targets, but the viciousness, ferocity of the strikes was heavily felt.””


Schmale made the cardinal mistake of deviating from the groupthink that Israel randomly targets and kills civilians for no reason whatsoever. And when someone goes against the official line, there is hell to pay. 

Hamas - which literally targets civilians and brags about it - condemned Schmale and was soon joined by the other groups in Gaza who send rockets indiscriminately towards Israel (and often Gaza itself.)

Obviously, Schmale spoke the truth. Israel's airstrikes were more precise than in any previous war. The ratio of combatants to civilian casualties was higher than in any urban war in history. It is literally impossible to avoid killing children when the terrorists deliberately hide themselves, their weapons and their command centers among children, which has been proven over and over again. 

Schmale has apologized over and over for telling the truth. His latest linked to the New York Times photo essay of children killed, saying, "Looking at this harrowing documentation, I deeply regret that my comments about the precision of IDF strikes are being misused to justify what cannot be justified. Killing children breaks the rules of war and must be independently investigated. There must not be impunity!"

Which is interesting, because while one actually had to read the article carefully, the NYT did mention that some children were killed by Hamas rockets. It was not "documentation" about how each child was killed; any real investigation would find that most were killed because they were near a legitimate military target and a warning would have caused the terrorist target to get away. Some were killed by Hamas rockets and some were killed by miscalculation by the IDF (an airstrike on tunnels under the Shati camp accidentally knocked down two buildings that Israel didn't anticipate and therefore didn't warn the residents resulting in the deaths of  8 children.)

Even the UN itself admits that most of those killed by Israel were terrorists. Gaza has a population of 2 million people, and if 50,000 of them are members of terrorist organizations, that would mean that indiscriminate bombing would result in a 95% civilian death toll -  not less than 50%. The death toll would be ten times higher

The statistics prove what Schmale said - the airstrikes were carried out with precision.

Two seconds of thinking would also show that if Israel wanted to target children, there would be thousands killed. Two more seconds of thinking would show that Israel not only has no incentive to kill innocents; it has a very powerful disincentive. Five more minutes of research would reveal videos of how the IDF has called off airstrikes when children and other civilians were seen in the area.

But those who are pillorying Schmale don' t care about facts. 

Today, there was a protest in Gaza demanding Schmale be fired. 10,000 people attended. It was organized by UNRWA's own union. The head of the UNRWA Staff Union, Amir al-Mashal, said, “We will not calm down except with the departure of the director of UNRWA operations and his deputy due to their major failures." He added, ridiculously, that Schmale's statement - one of the few times that an UNRWA official actually said the truth - violated UNRWA's "neutrality."

This entire episode proves that journalists, officials and politicians are not interested in facts. They have an agenda and they will only choose to accept the facts that support that agenda.

And no one is willing to admit that the agenda is to demonize Jews.

  • Monday, May 31, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon

The official Palestinian Wafa news agency has a video titled, "Even the cemeteries were not spared from the Israeli bombardment." It shows a couple of large craters in the al-Shuja’iya Cemetery that were hit with Israeli missiles on May 14.

The impression they want to give is that Israel is even attacking the dead.

Back in 2014, the IDF released figures of how often Gaza terrorists shot rockets from civilian areas:

Approximately 260 rockets were fired from schools.
Approximately 160 rockets were fired from religious sites, including mosques.
Approximately 127 rockets were fired from cemeteries.
Approximately 50 rockets were fired from hospitals.
Cemeteries are ideal rocket launching sites, and they are used all the time.

Which makes more sense: Israel shooting cemeteries randomly, or Israel targeting rocket launch sites that happen to be placed in cemeteries?

Sunday, May 30, 2021

  • Sunday, May 30, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
  • ,

From Ian:

Seth Frantzman: How the international community sought to create an endless Israel-Palestinian war
Ridiculous obsession with Israel at the UN led everything to be warped just to attack Israel from the WHO to Women and Human Rights groups, to UNESCO. Every rule that applies to every country in the world was shifted regarding Israel being singled out. And now human rights groups have done the same regarding accusations of “apartheid.” There is no commonality between Israel’s system and apartheid, but the term had to be changed just to attack Israel. The term “settler state” was shifted from its original meaning relating to the New World states to apply to Israel, a country that is not made up of “settlers.” The supposed “two state” solution has now been tossed aside in favor of what the anti-Israel voices call “one state” and “from the river to the sea.” The accusations that all of Israel is “apartheid” is designed to cater to this alliance of Hamas and the progressive left against Israel. It doesn’t matter what Israel does, just defending itself with Iron Dome is now considered a reason to attack it. Similarly the use of the term “settler” to describe Israel, asserting that this gives it less rights, when numerous other states in North America and other places were created by “settlers.” Only in Israel’s case are migrants and refugees called “settlers.”

Even when Israel tried to do what the international community has asked, withdraw from Gaza, the same community that made sure that failed chaotic Palestinian Authority elections would enable Hamas to take over Gaza. Then they say that Israel still “occupies” Gaza, when Israel left. Hamas is said to have a “right” to “resist occupation” and attack Israel with rockets, and if Israel blockades Hamas then it is said to be evidence of “occupation.” Similarly even though Israel left Lebanon in 2000, Hezbollah is permitted to claim it must keep a massive arsenal to “resist” Israel because Israel “occupies” Lebanon, even though it doesn’t. This shows no matter how much Israel withdraws from the “occupation” will never end and the need for “resistance” will never end. The doctrine is “one state” and a “binational” state. Under no circumstance to international organizations say they won’t fund Palestinian groups that use maps showing all of historic Palestine as theirs, and no Israel. Even terms like “’48 Arabs” or “48 lands” are used. To deny the existence of Israel. No other country is subjected to this. No one says that India is “48 lands”.

Only Israel is subjected to non-recognition by numerous countries, based often on religious hatred. Even as the Cold War ended and other disputes ended there was no push by the international community to recognize Israel. It is a conflict that began in 1948 and which many in the international community will use forever. Iran’s regime uses the conflict to excuse spreading chaos in the region and arming illegal extrajudicial groups. Why does Iran threaten Israel? That question is never asked. Why does the regime get to continually use the Palestinian issue to threaten? No other country randomly adopts a cause far away to threaten to destroy some other other country. For instance Burma may be accused of suppressing Rohingya, but Iran or Turkey don’t threaten the country’s destruction. Only with Israel.

The international community has done nothing to try to create peace in the Middle East and prevent the stockpiling of rockets by Hezbollah, Iran’s brazen nuclear program and other issues. As long as these countries say they will “destroy” Israel, they get a pass. If they threaten any other country they are held to account. Even Jewish history is neatly removed, UNESCO declaring Hebron a heritage site but purposely focusing on the Mamluk and Ottoman period to remove any need to mention Jewish heritage in Hebron. The whole of world history changed just to ignore Jewish rights and role in historic Israel.

This is not about Palestinian rights and a state. Because the nature of the argument, the “river to the sea” talk now said at western Universities, it all about ethnic cleansing of Israel. It is the only state in the world the western left leaning progressive will seek to ethnically-cleanse of its diverse population. It’s the only state they say that it has to provide full and equal rights to “all its citizens” and change its flag and anthem, but no other state in the Middle East must do so. It’s the only state where 4,000 rockets can be fired at it without condemnation or even mention of Hamas. It’s the only state where when there is a war there is a huge rise in attacks on Jews all around the world by the same people who claim “anti-Zionism” is not antisemitism. This is the reality in the wake of the Hamas war.

Jake Wallis Simons: How London became a hub for Hamas
It is important to view all this in the context of the bigger picture. This is not a distant problem, confined to a small triangle of land in the Middle East. Jeremy Corbyn and his fellow travellers may call Hamas ‘friends’, but terrorist murderers over there want to carry out terrorist murders over here. Corbyn famously said: ‘The idea that an organisation that is dedicated towards the good of the Palestinian people and bringing about peace and social justice and political justice should be labelled as a terrorist organisation is a big, big historical mistake.’ About this and many other things, Jeremy Corbyn was, shall we say, incorrect.

The difference between Hamas and Isis does not lie in their intentions and theology so much as their tactics. Isis carries out staged beheadings; Hamas ties people to the back of motorbikes and drags them through the streets. Both lust after a vision of a caliphate. But while Isis goes blasting through the front door, trampling international law and conquering territory, Hamas straps on its suicide belt and rings on the doorbell of democracy. That is the way of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas’ parent organisation. The theory is simple: by the time you realise what is happening, you’re living in an Islamist state.

The Muslim Brotherhood has had limited success in infiltrating political systems in the Middle East. According to intelligence sources, in recent years it has quietly turned to softer targets in Europe, pushing on the open door that is official tolerance of its ‘political wing’. In Britain and across the continent, analysts say, we are seeing parallel social systems developing that run on Muslim Brotherhood lines. Do British policymakers really believe that giving the group’s ‘political wing’ free rein on our soil has no impact on terrorism, both over there and over here?

It’s high time Whitehall opened its eyes to the terror threat that has been acting with impunity on these shores, and took concrete steps to quash it. After all the death and destruction of recent weeks, that would be a lesson worth learning.

Caroline Glick on RT!: Blood of Jews on Hands of Progressives And Media
While the media blames Israel for their now paused war with Hamas, a top UN official praises Israel's sophistication and precise strikes at Gaza, and then suddenly takes it back. Senior columnist at Israel Hayom, Caroline Glick, joins Steve to discuss.


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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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